Today, and by way of making access to care equitable throughout the region, the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) announced the allocation of 10 new residential hospice beds in NSM by 2018/19.
The LHIN has directed that five new beds be placed in the Midland / Penetanguishene sub-region and the other five in the Orillia sub-region. Locating these new beds within these sub-regions means that by 2018/19, all five sub-regions within NSM will have access to residential hospice services. These 10 new beds will bring NSM's residential hospice bed complement to 31 - including six at Campbell House, five at Algonquin Grace in Huntsville, and 10 at Hospice Simcoe in Barrie.
"We, at Hospice Georgian Triangle, would like to congratulate the hard-working and dedicated teams in Orillia and Penetang on this wonderful news", said Hospice Georgian Triangle's Executive Director, Kelly Borg. "The addition of 10 new residential hospice beds in NSM will ensure patients throughout the region have greater choice when deciding where they would like to receive end-of-life care."
"Regarding the Georgian Triangle sub-region, I can confirm that pressure on our six beds continues to rise, with many people waiting for a bed either in the hospital or at home", said Borg.
"The NSM LHIN has been made aware of our need to expand to 10 beds and they visited us earlier in the year to see our progress in advance of the expansion. We are presenting our case to them - including details on occupancy levels, length of stay, our tight admission criteria and wait list - and we are hoping that they, and the Ministry of Health, will view our 'ready-to-go' beds as a newsworthy story. We remain positive about their response", Borg said.
"In August 2014, HGT and Campbell House did not get the 'funding go-ahead' until a few days before we opened our doors and six beds, having already hired, orientated and paid staff for four to six weeks in anticipation of opening. There is a possibility that while we plan to open our expanded premises with extended family and program area in April 2017, our four new patient suites may not open until such time as we receive funding from the Ministry of Health", said Borg.